Thank you, Katrina, for inviting me to write a post for your lovely blog. I’ve now published eight books in The Guernsey Novels series and several were dual-time stories and I realised I was being irrevocably drawn to writing a full-on time-slip novel with my latest, Her Previous Self.
I do love ghosts! And anything slightly spooky without going overboard. Personally, I’m open to the idea of previous lives, something Eastern religions accept. When I was working as a psychotherapist I often used hypnosis and one client spontaneously slipped back to being a Cavalier in the English Civil War, wielding a ‘sword’ in the air. Slightly scary at the time, but interesting☺
One of my favourite authors is Barbara Erskine and I fell in love with her first book, Lady of Hay, which took a modern girl back to the middle ages in Wales, triggered by hypnosis. I don’t pretend to be another Barbara, but her books have had quite an influence on me. My own book takes us back to Guernsey in the early 1800s, otherwise known as the Jane Austen era of Regency England. I love this era and felt comfortable writing about my characters and their lives having read/watched so many Austen books/films. Even then, I wasn’t as knowledgeable as I’d thought but am lucky to have an editor who writes Regency books and she corrected errors and gave me some invaluable tips.
Here’s the blurb for Her Previous Self – hope it sparks your interest!
Two women, living two hundred years apart but closer than sisters.
Mary, miserable in her marriage to Thomas Carre, a merchant and privateer and living in the new family mansion in Georgian Guernsey.
Lucy, separated from her husband after a tragic loss and now acting as an unwilling sitter for her elderly grandfather, Gregory Carre, who has inherited the same mansion.
Lucy is haunted by Mary’s continued presence in the house and finds herself being pulled more and more back in time. How is it possible for her to live as Mary? To experience scenes from her tragic life? Lucy is forced to come to terms with Mary’s grief as well as her own.
The more enmeshed she becomes the more anxious Lucy is to discover the truth. Why is Mary still restless? What caused her mysterious disappearance two hundred years ago?
And can Lucy move on from her own loss to find happiness again?
Publication Date: 2nd August 2021, though available forpre-order now
The Tethered Unicorn by E.M.G Wixley and Narrated by Leo De Haan.
The Tethered Unicorn is a gritty, emotional audio story. I found Mike to be such a well-written and complex character. He loves Rosy, but his drug habit, temper, and dealing turn him into such an aggressive character. Rosy to me seemed such a young and confused girl, easily controlled but able to see her life would end her up dead. I also found Rosy’s relationship with Spencer and his need to help her as he couldn’t help his son very touching.
The story itself follows Rosy and Mike as they deal drugs and try to hide from those who they have crossed. Will the people who are out to get them to discover their hiding place? Will Rosy see Mike for who he is and get free of the dangerous life she’s living? You’ll have to read and find out.
I thought the author did an amazing job of showing her readers not only what drugs and bad deals can make a person feel like and change emotionally, but also how the body itself can look so close to the end and yet the person can still be wanting something more for his/her life.
I would recommend this audiobook if you like gritty, emotional stories with great characters that you’ll love to hate and want more for at the same time.
Thank you to Katrina for having me on her blog today. I’m always delighted to be here.
I’m excited to tell you about my new novel ‘The Lies She Told.’
It feels like ages since I’ve written a novel, so I’m very excited about this one. But as you all know, we’ve been experiencing a pandemic. Who could have imagined such a thing? I expect there will be lots of novels written about it. I’m not sure I could relive it again in a story. However, writing this new novel really kept me occupied during the lockdown, and I hope you enjoy it. Readers who have reviewed it have said it is the best book they have read this year. I hope you’ll think so too. It is a thriller that I hope very much we’ll keep you gripped.
The Lies She Told. A quiet village, a friendly community, a brutal attack.
Life in the village of Stonesend is pretty uneventful, that is until Detective Tom Miller is transferred there following a personal tragedy. He is not greeted well by officer Beth Harper, who feels he is not up to the job. The day of his arrival, Kate Marshall, a teacher at the local school, is beaten in her own home and left for dead. The villagers are left in a state of shock. Was it a random attack or something more personal?
Lynda Renham is the author of many popular romantic comedy and gripping psychological thriller novels. She lives in Oxford, UK. She has appeared on BBC radio discussion programs and is a prolific blogger, Twitter and when not writing, can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook.
I have not blogged for a little while mainly because it has been a few busy months or so. But I have some magical news to share!! On 2nd June 2021, I finally got married to my very own prince. It was a crazy romantic few days, my mum and cousin came down for the wedding and we stayed in The Village Hotel for the night. We had a lot of adventure: we did face masks, had long chats and had dinner and drinks. The funny thing was the hotel was meant to put Kshitij (my fiancé) on a different floor to me, so our paths don’t cross each other before the wedding, but his room ended up next to mine. He could hear my hairdryer at 12am..so funny!!. But we did not see each other before wedding…
I was up at 6am on 2nd June, woke up mum and my cousin Danielle and we all had breakfast and coffee. I went back to my room to straighten my hair and then Danielle did my makeup— she’s amazing at makeup and by the time she had finished I looked like a princess. Soon after Mum went to visit Kshitij and gave him the lovely champagne glasses I wanted him to take to the venue as he was leaving before me. Then I put on my princess dress wedding dress that took me 30 minutes to get the ties done up just right. In between my friend Donna showed up as I gave her the responsibility to film the wedding for me. Once the dress was on, veil on jut right, I pinned the purple flowers on mum, Donna and Danielle. They all looked so beautiful, three strong and wonderful women.
Donna left to meet Kshitij, David and uncle Keith at the venue. I checked in with my mother and father in law and my brother in law’s wife Geet. Three of the most happy lovely people I’ll ever know and their smiles and blessing made me happy before calling the Uber taxi.
Well who knew taxi was so late at turning up. There was Mum Danielle and I waiting in the heat all dressed up for our ride. 12pm came around and went and this princess was late for her wedding (I know bride is always late!!) But it was a panic. When the Taxi did arrive, I think my stress level had hit 100 and my mum must have thought I had gone crazy.
As we finally arrived at the venue, Donna took my phone at the door, Danielle went and found her seat. I was offered cold water to get a hold of my nerves to calm myself down while the wedding planner sorted my dress, and the registrar went over what was going to happen when I met Kshitij down the aisle.
The big wooden doors were closed to the wedding hall as mum took my arm and then after one more deep breath the music started (This is it by Scott McCreery) and I saw Kshitij in his handsome blue suit smiling and waiting for me to reach him. I thought he looked stunning and was so happy that the wedding was livestreamed on zoom and I could see my friends and family there with us….
Mum sat down after we reached Kshitij. Kshitij and I held hands, me mouthing sorry I was late as the registrar began and we took turns saying our vows and slid our wedding rings on each other fingers. Then we were pronounced MR and MRS Bhoumik and we sealed our wedding with a kiss. After signing our marriage certificate, we held hands and walked back down the aisle together, everyone threw confetti over us which went everywhere but looked beautiful.
We stood together with a glass of wine in hand feeling so blessed to have each other. We then returned to zoom to talk to our family and friends. I felt so loved to see Kendra, Anne, Jane, Val, Vittoria and Alka and Gautam, Geet, Vardhan and Aunties, grandmother so many other there smiling and blessing us. You all made my heart sing and I’m so blessed to have such beautiful family and friends there sharing one of the biggest days of my life with me. I can’t express enough how happy you all made me feel!!
After our zoom guest left to enjoy wine, cake and smiles, we went upstairs together and had our meal and a few drinks and photographs. Kshitij and I had written speeches for each other that we read out which made my mum and Danielle cry. We took to the floor and had our first dance as a married couple to the song Champagne Promise. This may not seem like a wedding song, but every year we used to meet up we’d end up dancing to that song so to us that’s our song.
Cake was cut for guests to take home and we went outside for some photos to be taken together before the few guests that were able to come in person returned home.
We also returned to the hotel and opened the many beautiful cards and wedding presents from family and friend. All were beautiful and special, and the thought meant a lot to me, along with all the beautiful wishes online that we will treasure them all…
It honestly was the most magical day and one I will never forget. I do feel very blessed for my husband, family, and friends. We also hope to do a blessing and reception next summer so those who couldn’t make it in person and those that did can come together and we can complete our wedding and photo album.
I hope you are all well and finding magical moments in life.
I believe it’s never too late to accomplish one’s dreams. Some people have a bucket list that has daring things to do or something they longed to do for years. It is never too late and you are never too old to do something you have longed to do.
After raising six daughters and believing it is never too late to dream, I decided to go back to college. It was a scary thing to do and I don’t know why I was so worried. At the age of 50, I graduated from college with a Theatre and Arts Degree. After that, I performed for a concert series. It was unbelievably fun and enjoyable until I got reflux and lost my voice. Feeling discouraged, I didn’t know what to do with my life. But . . . when one door is closed, God opens another door for you to walk through. And that was exactly what He did for me.
An interest in writing engulfed me. So I went to the library and studied every book available about writing. I wanted to write family friendly stories for all ages. So I sat down and wrote a few books until I was brave enough to send one to a publisher. At the age of 56, I became a published author and won an award for my first book, which surprised and delighted me. After writing five historical romances, I wrote 12 cozy mysteries and then wrote three swashbuckling romances. Since I was a fan of Robin Hood, Zorro, and the Scarlet Pimpernel, I couldn’t help it. I even wrote some non-fiction and a children’s book. Being an author has been an interesting path to travel. The most recent series that I just completed is a historical mystery romance series set in the 1830s. It is called A Willow Valley Historical Romance. Each romance has a mystery to solve.
One Last Dance is the first book in this series, which will keep you guessing until the end of the book. When Felicity meets their charming new neighbor, she soon discovers that he is hiding his true identity. Nicholas Adams is on a quest. When she finds out that someone is after a valuable heirloom, a precious treasure found in her attic, her life takes a new turn.
“This book has my favorite genres: historical, romance and mystery. Although I enjoyed the romance, what I liked most was the mystery. Intrigue and suspense kept me hooked and I loved the air of mystery behind a few of the characters. It kept me guessing to the end, and of course it had a sweet, happy ending. This is one of my favorite books by Linda Weaver Clarke.” –Inishowen Cailin, Book Reviewer
Angel’s Serenade is the second book in this series. Each day as Emmeline practices the piano, she doesn’t know the new doctor in town secretly sits on his porch to listen to her music. As Emmeline gets to know the charming doctor, they become intrigued by her neighbor’s mysterious behavior. Will they discover his secret? And who is the leader of the River Pirates, who is causing so much havoc?
“Clarke has created a sweet romance that will warm the heart, and it’s wrapped up in fascinating yesteryear details of courting, medical practice and river pirates. I highly recommend the book to those who enjoy sweet romance with a bit of mystery.” –Author Gail Pallotta
In A Pleasant Rivalry,Angelica is surprised when she finds out that an old school chum has returned to Willow Valley. Since she writes articles for the Chronicle and Simon owns the Willow Valley News, they just happen to be rivals. The competition is on. Who will be the first to discover the identity of the jewel thief or the arsonist? To her surprise, Angelica realizes she is losing her heart to her rival.
“I loved this book! It was a great historical read and full of surprises. I totally didn’t expect what happened… to happen. The time period was an interesting one and I love how the author intertwines historical events into the story. It was a new and refreshing tale.” –Sunnie Reviews
Holidays in Willow Valley is full of surprises. This book is a collection of six holiday stories, something that I hadn’t done before. What were the holidays like at Willow Valley in 1840? While writing this book, I learned to appreciate our holidays.
“This book contains six short stories of different holidays celebrated in the 1840 time period. These are enjoyable stories to read any time of year, not just in holiday times. The characters and the book carry Christian values, which I love. These are very entertaining stories!” –Sunnie Reviews
I soon realized that writing short stories was a pleasure and quite fun. So I decided to try it once again. So I wrote the fifth and last book in this series called Tales of Willow Valley. It is a collection of five “Love Stories.”
“If you are in the mood for some sweet, clean, historical, romantic short stories then look no further. I enjoyed each story and how the women are not sitting back waiting on a man, but are take-charge women that start their own businesses, aren’t afraid to face ruffians, and encourage women to fight for their rights. It is amazing what you can learn when an author does research into events in the past to make sure their works are as authentic as possible.” –Story Book Reviews
As of today, I am the author of 32 books and 28 Audible audiobooks. You can order any of my books from Amazon and Audible Audiobooks at my websites below.
My Review OfDolores’ Choice by Patricia Asedegbega
Dolores’ Choice follows a young Dolores as she’s growing up and learning about the world and boys. She’s quite rebellious in nature and doesn’t really want to follow the path her parent thinks she should. But she also cares a lot about her parents and this does shine through in this story. I also found parts of this story very well written with emotional themes such as when Dolores’ friend talks about losing her child and her experience at an abortion clinic. Also, I thought this story talked a lot about how one choice can lead a life in a way you really don’t want and you really feel the tug between Dolores’ wanting to go home, having good parents vs those who truly are stuck in a world without much support.
The story itself follows Dolores as she goes off to meet a man who has captured her affections. She lies to her family that she’s off with friends, little did her parents know she would not be returning home. Will Dolores’ run off with this man? Or is he too good to be true? Will she ever make it home again? You must read this book to find out.
I did find this book was well written and dealt with some very sensitive themes very clearly. The author also does a great job at showing what Dolores’ goes through vs what her family are going through and all their thoughts and feeling very much envelopes you into the story.
If you like books with great characters, A journey with an end and some emotional themes throughout. You will enjoy this book.
Alderslay is a story full of everything, a mysterious rundown Mansion, bodies under the floorboards, and over welcoming neighbors. Woof the dog was my favorite character I could just imagine the cute dog watching over Gina after she rescued him. I also felt for Gina having a partner who was always away, never really there to help her with the new house. Steve also was an interesting character that throughout the book I wasn’t sure I trusted him or not, but he did have an effect on Gina.
The story itself follows Gina as she’s looking for a new adventure, a new home. After looking at other places she finds herself faced with an old Mansion that feels in the middle of nowhere, yet the town is not far away. Gina feels this is her new adventure. However, is the house all it seems? Will there be a dark history of bodies looming under the floorboards waiting to jump out? Will Woof keep Gina safe with his doggie senses? You’ll have to read this book to find out.
I liked the contrast between how Paul and Steve made Gina feel. Paul made her feel he was just doing what she wanted for a quiet life. Not really fully in the venture with her. However, with Steve, she could bounce off ideas, disagree, and still feel like they were on the same page. I think this comes through very well in this book.
I also like the descriptions of the house and land. I think the author does a great job at making you picture what living in the house was like, the ground, the house, the creepy noises, or the chilly feeling from the basement.
To me, this book goes between creepy and romantic and a bit cute when it comes to Woof. The end was very enjoyable and came full circle.
If you like books that are full of mystery, fun and interesting characters, and a chill feeling sometimes. You’ll love this book.
Blurb: An old house. A new start. Ancient secrets.
When Gina stumbles across the remote, dilapidated mansion she’s convinced it will make the perfect home for when she and her fiancé Paul settle down together. At first he supports the venture, but his frequent absences are a cause for concern, especially when the renovations reveal skeletons from the past. Is local man Steve a prospective business partner or looking for something more? Why are the normally reticent villagers prepared to accept her as one of their own? As more uncanny coincidences link Gina to the gruesome history of the house, she must decide where her future lies, and if she is prepared to pay the final price.
Background: This story was first inspired several years ago after reading a local newspaper article about an area I knew well from my archery days. On one of our tours we visited a vineyard in Kent, and obviously the book had to have a dog, who was named after one of my father’s childhood pets.
Originally entitled ‘Murder of Changes’ as a follow-up to my first book ‘Changes’ which was a romance, it has been exciting to try a different genre. Umpteen revisions, a brand new cover (version number eight million and six), and a new title following feedback by beta readers, it has finally been published. Like my short stories, it contains my usual quirky twist but no peeking at the ending until you’ve read the rest of the book!
I’m always grateful for feedback from readers, especially those who take the time to leave a review. I hope you enjoy it. Thank you.
House of Grace is an emotional coming of age story. I really like Katy and Grace in this book. Grace is much more of a simple soul, she’s learning who she wants to be and what her talents are. Whereas Katy is very much a wild child, feels like she knows where she wants life to go and how to get it. I felt they complimented each other as friends. I also liked how even though they both come from money and class that the two families couldn’t be more different in the way they looked after each other. Katy’s parents were much more loving, let her go off by herself, and dealing with whatever happened when it happened kinda people. Whereas Grace never really seem to know her parents and related more to nanny’s and staff who helped bring her up.
The story itself follows Grace and Katy as they leave school and fall into the world of boys and freedom. Grace find Jack and Katy Eddy and slowly they both become enthralled in love. But Grace is already destined to Marry a man of her father’s choosing and Jack is no more than a miner. Will Katy and Grace come up with a plan to keep Grace free to be with Jack? Or will Grace end the year married to someone her father chooses? You must read this book to find out.
I liked Jack’s character too, he seemed a kind at heart person and a hard worker wanting to make his father proud by going down the mines and living as his family always had. I thought some of the moments he spent with Grace were touching and you could tell he had a respectful way about him compared to Eddy.
I also felt that the author did a great job at showing how Grace had dreams that were more than being a house wife, but still she could do both if she wanted.
I did have tears in my eyes towards the end of this book, many parts of Grace’s life and Katy were very sad and you could very much feel Grace’s pain throughout. But also her strength in how she picked herself up and showed resilience.
I also really liked uncle Max, he was a very balanced man and stood by his wife in a very hard time. But still, he could see that where his wife blamed and ran, he needed to be home and not hold blame where there was none.
I highly recommend this book if you enjoy coming of age stories with interesting characters and emotional family moments.
Don’t Go Back is the perfect follow on from 76 Silver Street. While both books can be read alone, there is something delightful about getting to know these characters from the start of 76 Silver Street and seeing where their story goes in the new book. It’s amazing how a gripping story ends so fast. I sat down yesterday evening after getting all my housework done and by 2am had finished this book. I really loved seeing the characters again, Rosa, Ollie, Jack- they are all unique in their own ways.. I also found the end surprising and rather emotional.
The story itself follows Dan and Molly as they come up with a plan to bring Rosa back home and out of Jack’s arms. Molly is desperate to see Rosa and tell her how they are family and so she sets off to Rosa’s boarding house under the rouse that she’s writing a book on places to stay. But not before long she finds that all is not well.. Will Molly bring Rosa back to Dan? Or Rosa choose to stay with Jack? Will all be well at the boarding house once more? You’ll have to read this book to find out.
I found Dan such a slimy character, on the one hand he loves Rosa, but on the other he treated her so badly with sexually charged games among his friends and although throughout the book the author does a great job at making you want to sympathise with his loses and his love, for me I just didn’t like him as a person.
Jack on the other hand, I felt, he was matured from the last book and had become the man he should have been. He might have had no money and liked a little drink sometimes, but his heart shown through and I really felt for him more.
Also, one of my favourite characters was Stella, she’s very loyal to Jack and cares about Rosa in many ways. But she also doesn’t like dishonesty and therefore makes some rash choices.
I also thought the end was surprising and didn’t see it coming at all. Always thought the story was going a certain way, but nope it does surprise and end the opposite with an emotional and nail biting twist.
Overall, I recommend this book especially if you have read 76 Silver Street, but also if you like interesting and well round characters and the story that you’ll finish quickly because it’s so hard to put down.